David Kirkpatrick

May 1, 2010

Two recent images of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico

Very frightening. I feel for the folks in New Orleans (one of my favorite cities). From what I’ve read the air is already becoming too noxious to comfortably breathe and it’s only going to get worse over the next month (the current estimate to stop the flow of petroleum into the Gulf.)

satellite image of gulf oil spill

satellite image of gulf oil spill

Also from the link:

On April 29, the MODIS image on the Terra satellite captured a wide-view natural-color image of the oil slick (outlined in white) just off the Louisiana coast. The oil slick appears as dull gray interlocking comma shapes, one opaque and the other nearly transparent. Sunglint — the mirror-like reflection of the sun off the water — enhances the oil slick’s visibility. The northwestern tip of the oil slick almost touches the Mississippi Delta. Credit: NASA/Earth Observatory/Jesse Allen, using data provided courtesy of the University of Wisconsin’s Space Science and Engineering Center MODIS Direct Broadcast system.

Be sure to hit the link for larger version of these satellite images and for more information.

Facebook and privacy

The huge social networking site (and new heavyweight champs of the internet for the foreseeable future) has an absolutely terrible record regarding privacy.

This post from the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation posits that the right to privacy isn’t a right to Facebook. I completely agree. Facebook doesn’t charge its millions (and millions) of users in exchange for very heavy, and increasing, levels of data mining. The post also laments the current threat of Congressional action in reaction to Facebook’s latest pubic statements and actions against user privacy. Another great point

This bit from the link is correct:

Certainly some users may still object to this tradeoff. But if you don’t like it, don’t use it. Facebook is neither a right nor a necessity. Moreover, it is a free tool that individuals can use in exchange for online advertising. In fact, one high-profile Facebook user, the German Consumer Protection Minister Ilse Aigner, has already threatened to close down her Facebook profile in protest of Facebook’s new privacy policies. Users that feel this way about Facebook’s changes should vote with their mouse and click their way to greener pastures. Companies respond to market forces and consumer demands, and if enough users object to the privacy policy of Facebook, these individuals should be able to find a start-up willing to provide a privacy-rich social networking experience.

But this second point actually perfectly illustrates where Facebook has the wrong approach toward user privacy, both from a business standpoint and personal protection standpoint:

Even Facebook responds to public opinion and consumer pressure. In December, Facebook modified its privacy settings so that certain information including friends list, gender, city, and profile photo, would be public information. In response to complaints from some users, Facebook modified its interface to give users more control over the privacy of different types of information. Neither was this the first time that Facebook revised its policies in response to consumer behavior. In 2006, Facebook altered its policy regarding its “news feed” feature that updates users about their friends’ activities.

The problem here is Facebook has repeatedly and arbitrarily taken actions that once exposed managed to royally piss off its user base to the point it had to immediately backtrack and change the changes. Do that once and its an example of a young company going through growing pains. Do it repeatedly and those actions are just those of a very bad corporate actor consistently pushing as hard as it can with zero regard for its user base. And that user base is all Facebook has going for it. It is massive and not going away overnight, but pressed hard enough and over enough events, and that user base could very well could disappear. It would probably take a defection of its growing middle-aged and up contingent, but Facebook would be very foolhardy to think it couldn’t happen.

April 30, 2010

Debut CD from B.o.B. is on the streets

Filed under: Arts, et.al., Media — Tags: , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:05 pm

This has been a big music week around here in terms of events to hit. I was especially pleased to get an invite to the official release party of B.o.B Presents: The Adventures of Bobby Ray this past Tuesday. Barely had the chance to meet the man of the hour — he had to get ready to be on stage that night, but it was a great event. Much thanks to Sylvia, Warner Music, K104 and the House of Blues.

For more about B.o.B., here’s his official website.

Here’s an image from the event:

Release party for "B.o.B Presents: The Adventures of Bobby Ray" on April 27, 2010

April 28, 2010

Wednesday video fun — er, just wow

Filed under: et.al., Media — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:17 am

This might possibly be the most dangerous thing you’ll see a human being do that doesn’t involve any explosive devices.

Just wow.

(Hat tip: Deadspin)

April 24, 2010

Saturday video fun — H.R. Pufnstuf

Filed under: Arts, et.al., Media — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 4:21 pm

Get some microdot and enjoy

April 21, 2010

Earth Day turns forty

And Avatar comes out on DVD. (BTW — don’t shy away from the DVD or Blu -ray just because it’s not in IMAX 3D. I caught a pre-street of the DVD over the weekend and it was great.)

Here’s a link more appropriate for Earth Day.

The release:

Expert commentary on Earth Day’s 40th anniversary

Presented in Sustainability: The Journal of Record; Environmental Justice; and Ecopsychology

New Rochelle, NY, April 21, 2010— In recognition of Earth Day’s 40th anniversary, publisher Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. (www.liebertpub.com) will provide complimentary online access to its journals in the field of sustainability, including Sustainability: The Journal of Record; Environmental Justice; and Ecopsychology through May 15. Each journal provides cutting-edge information about sustainability initiatives, the relationship between mankind and nature, and the protection of our citizens and our planet.

In this month’s issue of Sustainability: The Journal of Record (www.liebertpub.com/sus), Ray Anderson, the Founder and Chairman of Interface, reflects on “Earth Day, Then and Now.” “In the Green” reports on what a number of organizations and institutions are doing to commemorate this auspicious anniversary, including Major League Baseball, Walt Disney Studios, Dow Chemical Co., and Northwestern University. The Journal documents the implementation of sustainability programs in higher education and business, and provides the central forum for academic institutions, the business community, foundations, government agencies, and leaders of green-collar endeavors to learn about one another’s progress and programs and foster collaborations for attaining mutually supportive objectives.

Environmental Justice offers a provocative view of “Earth Day at the Crossroads of Sustainability and Justice,” with contributions by Editor-in-Chief Sylvia Hood Washington, PhD, MSE, MPH, University of Illinois at Chicago, David Naguib Pellow, PhD, University of Minnesota, and Kristen Schrader-Frechette, PhD, University of Notre Dame, among others.

Now in its third year, Environmental Justice (www.liebertpub.com/env)explores the adverse and disparate environmental burden impacting marginalized populations and communities all over the world.

Articles in Ecopsychology (www.liebertpub.com/eco), edited by Thomas Joseph Doherty, PsyD, explore the relationship between environmental issues and mental health and well-being, and examine the psychological, spiritual, and therapeutic aspects of human-nature relationships, concern about environmental issues, and responsibility for protecting natural places and other species.

###

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. is a privately held, fully integrated media company known for establishing authoritative peer-reviewed journals in many promising areas of science, medicine, biomedical research, and law, including Industrial Biotechnology, Environmental Engineering Science, andBiosecurity and Bioterrorism. Its biotechnology trade magazine, Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (GEN), was the first in its field and is today the industry’s most widely read publication worldwide. A complete list of the firm’s 60 journals, books, and newsmagazines is available at www.liebertpub.com.

Latest NASA satellite image of Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano

Filed under: et.al., Media, Science — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:21 am

Here you go:

Caption: The MODIS instrument on NASA’s Terra satellite captured a visible image of the ash plume (brown) drifting south and east from Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland at 11:55 UTC (7:55 a.m. EDT).

Credit: NASA’s MODIS Rapid Response Team

For more information, here’s the full release accompanying this image.

April 20, 2010

Twitter and advertising

Yep, they’re going there.

I may not completely enjoy the experience, but it’s an overdue move.

From the link:

Twitter is finally taking off the training wheels and moving into the world where real businesses tread with the launch today of its first advertising model .

The microblogging phenomenon has long avoided coming up with a business plan or even talking about one. Just last October, Twitter CEO Evan Williams told an audience at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco that the company wanted to focus on developing the site , instead of on a business model.

But the time has come for Twitter to figure out how to make money over the long haul.

It’s a decision that makes the company look less like a grand hobby and more like an actual business , said Rob Enderle, an analyst with the Enderle Group.

But, will the masses revolt?

From the link:

Now that Twitter has begun to display ads–pardon me, Promoted Tweets–in users’ search results, the big question is how millions of loyal Twitter fans will respond. Reaction on the micro-blogging site has been muted thus far–more questions than commentary, actually–and it’s apparent that most users haven’t seen the new ads yet.

According to a blog post by Twitter co-founder Biz Stone, the ad program will be rolled out gradually, with Promoted Tweets (such as the Starbucks (SBUX) example below) appearing atop some Twitter.com search result pages.

Of course, the very idea of product-pitching tweets won’t sit well with a good number of Twitter users, who’ve grown accustomed to the ad-free (and unprofitable) service.

NASA’s Terra spacecraft image of Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano

Here’s the latest from NASA on Eyjafjallajökull:

Satellite image of Iceland and volcano

On Monday, April 19, 2010, the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) instrument onboard NASA’s Terra spacecraft obtained this image of the continuing eruption of Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano. Image credit: NASA/GSFC/METI/ERSDAC/JAROS, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team

Hit the link for more information, a larger version of the image and additional posts with more images from the eruption.

April 19, 2010

Google Replay charts popularity of tweets

Filed under: Business, et.al., Media, Technology — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:10 pm

Very interesting idea and useful from a number of perspectives — as a snapshot of public interest at  set point in time, marketing, historical archive … well, you get the idea.

From the link:

Realizing the historic value of these commentaries and first-hand accounts, Google has begun archiving every tweet in what it calls “Replay”—a search function that presents in bar-chart-form the popularity of tweets through a period in time and lists associated tweets for you to browse chronologically.

To access Replay, perform a Google search, choose “Show options…” This reveals a toolbar on the left; click “Updates.” A graph will appear denoting the popularity of that phrase or keyword at that point in time. By hovering over the graph, you can zoom in to a more specific time of day and read the tweets that were sent in that time period.

Virtual 3D display case

This tech called pCubee is just amazing. If you have any experience in working with 3D scanned objects, the utility is obvious and possibilities are very exciting. This is the first generation of a brand new world in display.

From the link (and hit the link for video):

Researchers have developed a five-paneled LCD cube that gives users the appearance that something is inside, allowing them to rotate the unit and look at an object in three dimensions. Called pCubee, it’s the result of two years of work by students at the University of British Columbia.

“If it’s AutoCAD or 3D modeling objects, instead of looking at them on a regular desktop monitor, you can look at them inside the cube,” said Ian Stavness, a Ph.D. student at the University of British Columbia. He said that it could also be useful for museums to use for virtual showcases. The three-dimensional effect will only work, though, if 3D data for the object is available.

(Hat tip: SculptCAD)

April 18, 2010

The latest on the SculptCAD Rapid Artist Project

Here’s the official announcement of the project:

SculptCAD Rapid Artists to Debut at Society of Manufacturing Engineers Rapid 2010 Conference and Exposition

Inaugural Sculpture Exhibit Will Showcase the Convergence of Art and Technology

DALLAS, TX–(Marketwire – April 12, 2010) –  SculptCAD Rapid Artists, an experimental project launched by SculptCAD, a provider of sculptural/CAD design and reverse engineering services, announced its upcoming debut at the 2010 Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) RAPID Conference and Exposition (SME RAPID 2010), to be held on May 18-20 at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, California. For the first time ever, SME RAPID 2010 will host an exhibit dedicated to the convergence of art and technology. Titled “Art’s Newest Medium: Rapid Prototyping Applied to Contemporary Visions of Sculpture,” the exhibit will feature the works of 15 SculptCAD Rapid Artists members who are exploring the use SculptCAD digital 3D modeling software to create art.

“This inaugural exhibit marks the first time that the SME RAPID Conference and Exposition has been open to fine art,” said Nancy Hairston, Founder and President of VanDuzen Inc. — the parent company of SculptCAD, and a SculptCAD Rapid Artists sculptor. “I applaud the vision of the SME RAPID 2010 conference leaders in welcoming SculptCAD Rapid Artists and its ground-breaking approach to art in the 21st Century.”

“SME is always on the lookout for cutting-edge, rapid manufacturing applications to enhance the value of our program,” said Gary Mikola, SME show manager. “SculptCAD Rapid Artists is a perfect fit. We’ve received strong interest from registered attendees and participants, and as a result we’re also offering technical sessions that support the visual Contemporary Art Gallery.”

Launched in October 2009, SculptCAD Rapid Artists’ mission is to expose career fine artists, previously unfamiliar with digital techniques, to 3D software, 3D scanners, and Rapid Prototype (RP) output. Members of SculptCAD Rapid Artists include sculptors, painters, and installation artists who work in materials ranging from marble to rubber to wood. Using computer technology to fuel the creative process, SculptCAD Rapid Artists is challenging conventional perceptions of art in the physical realm.

Digital sculptures created by SculptCAD Rapid Artists members benefit the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts (Arts Magnet) in Dallas. Many of the participating artists are alumni of Arts Magnet. All exemplify an innovative spirit consistent with the contemporary vision of the extraordinary Dallas Arts District.

At SME RAPID 2010, Nancy Hairston will give a Fine Arts track presentation titled, “Rapid Artists – Experiment in Artists Immersed in Rapid Technologies for the First Time.” Scheduled on May 19 at 10:00 a.m., Nancy’s presentation will report on the potential that SculptCAD Rapid Artists is unleashing.

About SculptCAD Rapid Artists
SculptCAD Rapid Artists is an experimental project launched by SculptCAD, a leading provider of sculptural/CAD design and reverse engineering services. Dedicated to the creation of fine art, SculptCAD Rapid Artists’ mission is to explore and expand the use of computer technology to design and produce works of sculpture utilizing 3D software, 3D scanning, and 3D printing. Artists can create having freedom from the constraints of physical media, and can make art faster using digital tools. Digital also offers artists the ability to make multiple versions and editions of their work, print art on-demand, and enable collectors to purchase and download art online. SculptCAD Rapid Artists was founded in October 2009 and is based in Dallas, Texas. For more information about how SculptCAD Rapid Artists is changing perceptions of art in the physical world, visit http://www.sculptcadrapidartists.com.

About SculptCAD
SculptCAD specializes in time compression technologies for 3D design and manufacturing. These technologies include reverse engineering, 3D visualization, 3D modeling, rapid prototyping, rapid manufacturing, digital sculpting and CAD surfacing. SculptCAD serves a number of industries including fine art, housewares, medical, aerospace, packaging, product and toy manufacturing, and inspection. SculptCAD is a division of VanDuzen Inc., a rapid digital solutions company. Based in Dallas, Texas, VanDuzen is the parent company of two other divisions: MedCAD andVouch Software.

About Nancy Hairston
President & CEO, VanDuzen Inc.
Ms. Hairston brings 17 years of experience as a traditional sculptor and digital technologist to the pursuit of integrating 3D technologies in the creation and manufacture of sculptural products. Receiving a BA in Sculpture from Loyola University in New Orleans, Ms. Hairston began a career in 3D modeling with Alias | Wavefront / Silicon Graphics , in 2000, Ms. Hairston joined SensAble Technologies, and was instrumental in designing and implementing the “rapid” digital product development process between the United States and Asia for major American manufacturers. She founded VanDuzen Inc. in 2002, whose divisions – SculptCAD and MedCAD – work with major manufacturers to develop a variety of products, from toys to housewares to medical devices using Rapid technologies. In 2009, VanDuzen Inc. developed Vouch Software, which detects safety hazards in children’s products. VanDuzen Inc. is based in Dallas, Texas.

About The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME)
Founded in 1932, the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (www.sme.org) is the premier source for manufacturing knowledge, education and networking. Through its many programs, events and activities, SME connects manufacturing practitioners to each other, to the latest technology and the most up-to-date processes spanning all manufacturing industries and disciplines, plus the key areas of aerospace and defense, medical device, motor vehicles, including motorsports, oil and gas and alternative energy. A 501(c)3 organization, SME has members around the world and is supported by a network of technical communities and chapters worldwide.

Hit this link for all posts on the SculptCAD Rapid Artists Project.

“iSpecs” patent application from Apple …

… is already giving me a headache.

The conceit behind the patent app is a pair of glasses you attach an iPhone, iPod or similar Apple device to watch video in high-def equivalent 3D. Just imagine the neck strain of having the weight of an iPhone resting on the bridge of your nose for an extended period of time, not to mention the eyestrain.

I wonder if this patent application entered the system on April 1, or maybe Navin Johnson is now an Apple engineer.

(All blockquotes are from the first link.)

Here’s a look at an illustration of the concept:

And here’s a little more detail:

Apple has filed a patent application for electronic video spectacles that will allow wearers to watch films in 3D on the inside of the glasses. Fans have already nicknamed the gadget iSpecs.

Users would attach their , iPod, or other device to the spectacles, which have a special lens that can split the image into two frames — one for each eye — and then project the image onto the spectacles. The two images would create a stereoscopic effect since they would appear to have been taken from slightly different angles, and this would simulate 3D.

According to the patent application (number 20100079356) the images would be equivalent to high definition in quality, and sensors inside the spectacles would detect the precise location of the wearer’s eyes to ensure the image is projected at exactly the right place and is comfortable to watch.

April 17, 2010

Saturday video fun — Radiskull & Devil Doll

Filed under: Arts, et.al., Media, Technology — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 5:46 pm

I can’t remember when this Joe Sparks creation was a big thing on the web, but I do know it was an entire epoch or two back from the net of today. I can also tell how far back it was by the state of my Radiskull and Devil Doll, “Now it’s time to kick it,” t-shirt.

Here’s episode one, “I am the Radiskull”

April 15, 2010

Jerome Weeks covers SculptCAD Rapid Artists Project

I’ve run a number of posts on the SculptCAD Rapid Artists Project, and there’s some interesting news from this week — this past Monday Jerome Weeks covered the project for his National Public Radio/KERA show Art&Seek.

From the second link:

Each year, the Society of Manufacturing Engineers presents RAPID, a trade show for all kinds of 3D imaging, prototyping and printing. The society wanted to encourage artistic applicants — a new avenue for the industry to explore — and approached Hairston, who had spoken at RAPID several times. SME just wanted to call for any “artistic” prototypes to be submitted, but Hairston wanted to engage working professional fine artists to take a step into the engineering field — no math skills needed. Hairston’s would be more of a curated show.

HAIRSTON: “I thought the most interesting way to attract artists is to make the case why this is a good business decision. It definitely compresses the time. And you know, it’s a new medium. It stretches them out and gives them a challenge.”

nancy and ginger

Nancy Hairston (left) and Ginger Fox at SMU’s Rapid Prototyping Lab: Pay no attention to the sign behind them

April 6, 2010

Tuesday video fun — forbidden film

Filed under: Arts, et.al., Media, Politics — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 6:04 pm

Here’s a little context:

Neatorama explains:

In the 1920s and 1930s, censorship of movies was often governed by local boards, and achieved by snipping the scenes from the film reels.  It won’t surprise anyone that those clipped film segments were sometimes saved.  Here a number of them have been assembled into a montage, which was submitted to the 2007 72 Hour Film Festival in Frederick, Maryland.

What I find most interesting about this montage is — as in any censorship — how much what was deemed too racy for the general public reveals about the censor making those decisions.

(Hat tip: the Daily Dish)

SculptCAD Rapid Artist — Brad Ford Smith

This post is the fourth in an ongoing series highlighting the artists behind the SculptCAD Rapid Artists Project. (Hit this link for all posts related to the project.)

Brad Ford Smith is a Dallas-based artist and a third generation Texan. His abstract organic forms focus on how the eye and mind translate information, and how that visual experience can be altered by the passing of time. Brad’s works on paper and wall sculptures have been exhibited throughout Dallas and Chicago, where he resided shortly after earning his BFA in painting and printmaking from the Kansas City Art Institute.

In addition to making art, Brad is a professional member of the American Institute of Conservation. He specializes in the restoration of wooden artifacts.

How did you get involved with the RAPID Artists project?

Heather Gorham (ed. note: also a RAPID Artists project participant) introduced me to the folks at SculptCAD about eight years ago. I instantly saw how this 3D modeling program could open up a new world of fabrication options. It has been on my list of must do ever since.

Is this your first experience with 3D/digital sculpting technology and tools?

Other than that first introduction eight years ago, I have kept tabs on the subject, but this is the first time for me to use/learn the program.

How have these technologies changed the way you approach your process?

The challenge is learning how to use the tools, and then using those tools to create in an artistic manner. With each new tool there is the temptation to get carried away with all the new things that that tool offers. For example, the spin tool will take any wiggly profile and spin it on an axis to create a solid form. I played with this tool for an hour or so, creating some really wonderful shapes, but in the end, those shapes were only about using the tool and not about artistic expression. Managing the WOW factor has been tricky.

Are these digital tools a net positive, a net negative or entirely neutral in your artistic process?

I really love learning new processes. They always offer new ways to see and manipulate the world. The only negative is that this sculpture represents the FIRST work of art that I have made using this process, therefore it represents a large learning curve. Hopefully I will have more opportunities to use this technology in the future.

What are your thoughts on the SculptCAD Rapid Artists Project?

When Nancy (Hairston, SculptCAD founder) asked me to be part of this project, and I saw the list of artists involved, I was very excited and honored. Even though the artists in the SCRA project come from a wide range of artistic directions and disciplines, we are all connected by using/learning this technology. That has given us a common thread to build our conversations upon, which has lead to some great insight on the creative process.

Looking beyond the project, what do you have coming up in the near future art-wise? Do you have any shows or projects planned?

As soon as I get my 3D computer sculpture sent off to the printer, I am off to Italy to spend some quality time looking at sculptures made the old fashion way. After that I will be creating a book of my drawings using the iPhoto book program, and then looking for a venue to install a few wall sculptures in.

How can people interested in your work get in touch with you?

You can see more of my artwork as well as links to my blog and flicker site at www.BradFordSmith.us

Do you have any final thoughts on the SculptCAD Rapid Artists Project?

After seeing the first round of sculptures come back from the printers last week, I am really excited about how all the artwork will look when shown together. I am also very interested in the reactions of the people who will see this group exhibit at the RAPID Prototype and 3D Imaging Conference this May.

“The Singularity is Near” to debut at Sonoma Film Festival

News from KurzweilAI.net:

‘The Singularity is Near’ film debuts at Sonoma Film Festival
KurzweilAI.net, Apr. 5, 2010

“The Singularity Is Near: a True Story About the Future” makes its festival debut at the 13th Annual Sonoma Film Festival (April 15-18, 2010) with a special screening on Friday, April 16, 2010.

The feature-length film, directed by Anthony Waller and produced by Ray Kurzweil, Ehren Koepf and Toshi Hoo, executive producer Martine Rothblatt (Terasem MotionInfoCulture), explores the controversial ideas of Ray Kurzweil, based on his New York Times best-selling book by the same title.

Kurzweil examines the social and philosophical implications of these profound changes and the potential threats they pose to human civilization in dialogues with leading experts, such as former White House counter-terrorism advisor, Richard Clark; technologists Bill JoyMitch KaporMarvin Minsky, Eric Drexler, and Robert A. Freitas, Jr.; Future Shock author Alvin Toffler; civil liberties lawyer Alan Dershowitz; and music luminary Quincy Jones.

Kurzweil illustrates possible scenarios of his imagined future with narrative scenes starring popular NCIS actress Pauley Perrette and personal development guru Tony Robbins.

For more informationSonoma Film Festival and The Singularity is Near – The Movie.

April 4, 2010

DVD recommendation — “Cowboy Bebop”

Filed under: Arts, Media — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 4:40 pm

I’ve loved Cowboy Bebop for years. Watched the series when Adult Swim began running it on Cartoon Network, and I eagerly caught the movie in the theater when it was released. If you’ve never seen the movie or the series, or just don’t like anime, you should take the time to check out Bebop. It’s a just awesome space opera with wild west American sensibilities filtered through a Japanese perspective and projected onto a late twenty-first century world of space travel and commerce within the solar system.

I caught Cowboy Bebop – The Movie again last night on DVD and remembered all over again just how great that entire world is. As a bonus, given the nanotech-centricity of this blog a lot of the time, biological nanotechnology plays a major part in the plot of the movie. Do check it out, you won’t be disappointed.

And don’t forget about the series — here’s a link to a box set of Cowboy Bebop Remix Complete Collection at Amazon for $35.49 (at the time of this post) that includes all 26 episodes on six discs, an absolute steal.

April 3, 2010

Saturday video fun — “God Save the Queen”

Filed under: et.al., Media, Sports — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 4:34 am

… on a Renault F1 V10 engine.

Crazy.

April 2, 2010

SculptCAD Rapid Artist — David W Van Ness

This post is the third in an ongoing series highlighting the artists behind the SculptCAD Rapid Artists Project. (Hit this link for all posts related to the project.)

David W Van Ness is a Richardson, Texas-based artist and is a sculptor/educator whose work deals primarily with a surreal world developing after the fall of a civilization. David’s civilization, unlike ours, can manipulate nature to their whim. He’s the son of a very successful mathematician and was obsessed with myth, monsters, and science fiction as a child.

How did you get involved with the RAPID Artists project?

Since 2006 I have been working with SculptCAD on and off on several different projects. Nancy (Hairston, SculptCAD founder) came to me early and asked about people I thought she should include.  Though none of my suggestions were included, I was.

Is this your first experience with 3D/digital sculpting technology and tools?

No, SculptCAD first did work for me on my stacking cow project in 2006.

How have these technologies changed the way you approach your process?

The ability to test a design out and change it without much demand has been nice, but also a problem when the computer crashes amid working.  Just means I do the work again but this time more direct and succinct.

Are these digital tools having an effect on the work you are creating? Are the tools aiding/adding to/hindering the process?

Not really. I have been able to realize a project that I was working out in my head. I did have a little learning curve but now I think of them just like any tool.

What are your thoughts on the SculptCAD Rapid Artists Project?

It has been fun and interesting to see the other artists’ creations. I have been thinking about computer aided design for a long time and see now that I was rather limited in my vision

Looking beyond the project, what do you have coming up in the near future art-wise? Do you have any shows or projects planned?

I am giving a lecture at the conference and at Boise State University on this subject. I have yet to build much work this year beyond the RapidArtist piece. I did have one show earlier this year at Mary Thomas Gallery. I am working on new work for a show there as well. My galleries in Santa Fe and Denver are more salon type and don’t have “shows.”

How can people interested in your work get in touch with you?

www.davidvanness.com

vanness.dave (at) gmail.com

Do you have any final thoughts on the Rapid Artists Project?

I hope we can reproduce this experience again, with more and different artists I know this means that I might not be able to participate next time, but I think it would be interesting to see what develops


March 23, 2010

Big Bucks Burnett and the Wall Street Journal

Filed under: Arts, et.al., Media — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 9:40 pm

I actually caught the original gallery show at Barry Whistler last fall and it was pretty cool. Of course I have a decent eight-track collection including Kiss, Elvis, Johnny Cash, Wild Cherry (of “Play that funky music white boy” fame) and more. Sadly, I do not own a working eight track player right now.

Congrats, Bucks, on the latest show/temporary museum, the WSJ feature and best of luck with the permanent eight track museum.

From the link:

Last fall, more than 200 people crammed into one of this city’s premier contemporary art galleries for a three-day show. The white walls, accustomed to paintings that sell for thousands of dollars, were home to less rarified fare.

The show? Eight Track Tapes: The Bucks Burnett Collection. “It was packed,” says gallery owner Barry Whistler.

Presiding over the affair was James “Bucks” Burnett, a portly fellow with long gray hair and a white beard. He wore a tailored brown suit covered with images from the album cover of Led Zeppelin’s 1973 Houses of the Holy. Strangers showed up offering boxes of eight tracks, which Mr. Burnett happily pawed through, plucking out dusty rarities and putting them on display.

The positive response “led me to think maybe I’m not insane,” says Mr. Burnett. But it also helped him realize that a brief gallery show simply can’t contain his vision for the hard plastic tapes, one of the clunkiest and most short-lived music formats of all time.

He wants to open an eight-track museum. “There are only two choices. A world with an eight-track museum and a world without an eight-track museum,” he says. “I choose with.”

March 20, 2010

If you love King Crimson …

Filed under: Arts, Media — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 5:04 pm

… you should check out Giles, Giles & Fripp.

March 19, 2010

DVD recommendation — “Red Cliff”

Filed under: Arts, Media — Tags: , , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:04 am

I’m going to go way out on a limb here and recommend John Woo’s “Red Cliff” before I’ve even finished watching the film. It’s a two-parter that clocks in somewhere in the ballpark of five hours, so I’ve only finished part one. That much is enough to highly suggest you check this out. The tale is epic in every sense of the word — the battle scene action is excellent, the storyline is great and the movie itself is gorgeous. If you don’t see an update to this post sometime tomorrow night it means part two was not a let down. I don’t expect it to be.

March 18, 2010

Hookers and social media

This blog hasn’t been shying away from the controversial the last couple of days, so why not a bit on prostitution and web 2.0

From the link:

“Over the past decade, the Internet has become an increasingly important vehicle for sharing information about prostitution,” say Luis Rocha at Umea University in Sweden and a couple of buddies. That makes it possible to study the network of links between buyers and sellers at a level of detail that has never been possible before. Today, Rocha and co reveal the results one such study of prostitute-related activity in Brazil.

The community they look at is a public online forum with free registration, financed by advertisements, in which men grade and categorise their sexual encounters with female escorts. The community appears large with over 10,000 buyers and more than 6000 sellers all of whom use anonymous nicknames. The study covers a period of 6 years from when the community was set up in 2002 until 2008.

SculptCAD Rapid Artist — Heather Gorham

This post is the second in an ongoing series highlighting the artists behind the SculptCAD Rapid Artists Project. (Hit this link for all posts related to the project.)

Heather Gorham is a Dallas-based artist represented by the Craighead Green Gallery and shows her work across the United States. Unlike many of the project participants, Heather has previous experience with the haptics device and 3D technologies although this is her first use of those technologies in artwork.

How did you get involved with the RAPID Artists project?

I’ve known Nancy Hairston (project founder) and worked with Sculptcad for several years now. When she first had the idea for fine artists to create work using digital sculpting and asked me if I’d like to participate, I jumped at the chance.

Is this your first experience with 3D/digital sculpting technology and tools?

I have been working with 3D digital sculpting for several years now with Sculptcad, working on all sorts of different projects. This is my first real experience with creating my own vision using digital technology.

How have these technologies changed the way you approach your process?

Surprisingly, not so much. Despite the high tech nature I’m approaching this work much like I would in a more traditional medium. For me, it has become another tool in my toolbox. Albeit, a really, really cool one.

Are these digital tools having an effect on the work you are creating? Are the tools aiding/adding to/hindering the process?

So far, working digitally has mostly positive qualities. I think the only frustrating thing is the inability to actually touch, with your own hands, what you are creating. Feeling for imperfections or the perfect curve, getting that tactile feedback from your work.

The positives are the ability to try out different ideas and possibilities with a piece without having to permanently commit. You can test drive so many different ways to solve a problem and see all of your possible outcomes first.

What are your thoughts on the SculptCAD Rapid Artists Project?

I love the SRCA project, after working on projects other than my own, getting to create my own work digitally has been a real pleasure. I can feel that my own relationship to this process has grown and become more personal through working on my own art.  I’ve really embraced it.

Also, seeing other artists being introduced to this whole process and their excitement about it and what they can create. Their excitement has been contagious.

Looking beyond the project, what do you have coming up in the near future art-wise? Do you have any shows or projects planned?

I’m working on a large scale installation piece with about 150 rats, should be fun.

I always have work at the Craighead Green Gallery (in Dallas) with a big group show coming up on March 27th.

How can people interested in your work get in touch with you?

You can see more work or contact me at HeatherGorham.com.

Do you have any final thoughts on the Rapid Artists Project?

Can’t wait to see what everyone comes up with.

Here is Heather’s prelimary sketch for the project piece:

Technical Specs My piece will be created combining stainless steel and bronze alloy for the body of the hare with the possibility of using a separate material, resin for the exposed internal bone structure. The size is approximately 25” x 15” x 12”.

Statement I wanted to use animal imagery for my sculpture, for me it was a way to insure the relatability of my work while using the digital process. I chose the hare because of the old world, romantic idea of beauty and nature it represents, juxtaposed with this new world, digital way of creation. I’m challenged by the innate sense of conflict this presents. The rabbit’s coat is intertwined and layered with sculptural shapes and text creating an extra layer of narrative within the animal’s fur. I’ve created negative cutouts around the body allowing the viewer to see some of the animal’s internal workings. This study of contrasts, old vs. new, metal to fur, nature and technology, exterior and interior are some of the paradoxes most enticing to me in creating this work.

Head below the fold for images of Heather’s digital work in process: (more…)

March 17, 2010

Ray Kurzweil on Singularity University

A note from Ray hot from today’s inbox:

I wanted to take a moment to provide you a quick update on the ongoing progress of Singularity University.

I started Singularity University with Peter Diamandis (X Prize) last year and I am happy to report that it is growing, well, exponentially. Last week we concluded our second 9-Day Executive Program at our NASA Ames campus in Silicon Valley. Forty-five entrepreneurs, CEOs, venture capitalists, and government leaders came from over 15 countries and the feedback we are receiving from participants has been remarkably positive. Over 90% of participants rated the program very highly with one third saying it was their “best program ever!”

Our next 9-day program is coming up on April 30 – May 9th. The program concentrates on six exponential growing technologies:

1. Artificial Intelligence and Robotics

2. Nanotechnology

3. Biotechnology and Bioinformatics

4. Medicine and Human-Machine Interfaces

5. Networks & Computing Systems

6. Energy & Environmental Systems
Attending the program provides an understanding of how these accelerating technologies will transform your business and your industry by showing you what is in the lab today and where the technologies will be in 5 and 10 years. If you have an interest in attending, learn more about the program and how to apply by visiting our website at http://singularityu.org/executive-programs/.
With my best wishes,
Ray

The US military looked into undermining Wikileaks

And the modus operandi was mostly going to be a propaganda and sabotage effort to attempt to discredit the organization.

From the link:

In an ironic twist, Wikileaks has now published what appears to be an assessment of the site and the danger is poses to US military confidentiality, apparently from the US Army and Counterintelligence center and dated 18 March 2008.

Most of the report is a measured analysis of the site’s activities, modus operandi, funding and history, which then details numerous documents allegedly leaked to Wikileaks relating to US military activities in Iraq, Afghanistan and beyond that it sees as having handed intelligence to agencies hostile to the US.

Not sure if this is illegal, or not, and certainly there are national security issues with any military leak, but this type of covert action sure feel unAmerican.

Also from the link, here’s the lovely company our military was hoping to join:

A justification for following this course of action is considered to be that other countries have attempted to do the same.

“The governments of China, Israel, North Korea, Russia, Thailand, Zimbabwe, and several other countries have blocked access to Wikileaks.org-type Web sites, claimed they have the right to investigate and prosecute Wikileaks.org and associated whistleblowers, or insisted they remove false, sensitive, or classified government information, propaganda, or malicious content from the Internet,” says the report.

In the nick of time …

Filed under: et.al., Media, Science — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 3:47 pm

… for tonight’s revelries, the American Chemical Society comes through with the science on just why that hangover is ruining your life.

From the link:

When your head is pounding and you can’t stomach even a dry piece of toast, who among us has not asked why? Not, “Why did I drink so much?” but “Why is this happening to me?”

March 16, 2010

The Singularity in the ivory tower

Via KurzweilAI.net — Rutgers is offering an online course on the technological Singularity.

Rutgers plans online course on the Singularity
KurzweilAI.net, Mar. 16, 2010

This summer, Rutgers University plans to offer “Special Topics in Sociology: Singularity Studies, the first accredited college course on the Singularity and associated technologies.

The three-credit summer course will feature online lectures and discussions every Monday and Wednesday evening throughout the summer and is available to students internationally.

The textbook will be The Singularity is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology by Ray Kurzweil, supplemented by online articles appropriate to individual lectures.

The course will feature online interviews with leading futurists and technologists around the world exploring the social implications of these anticipated developments. Topics include future studies and forecasting, finance and entrepreneurship, networks and computing systems,biotechnology and informatics, nanotechnology,neuroscience and human enhancement, artificial intelligence and roboticsenergy and ecological systems, and space and physical sciences.

The course will be taught by a father-son team, Ben and Ted Goertzel. Ben is the Director of Applied Research for the Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence and an External Research Professor at Xiamen University in China. He also heads up two startup companies, Novamente LLC and Biomind LLC, has written several books on artificial intelligence and related topics, and is an advisor to the AIRobotics Track at Singularity University.

Ted, Ben’s father, is a sociology professor at Rutgers who regularly teaches a Cyberspace and Society course and is author or co-author of numerous books on sociology andscience.

Students and guest speakers will be recruited internationally. The sessions will be recorded and available for viewing during the semester via the Elluminate system.

More info: Singularity Studies: The Future of Humanity in the Age of Superhuman Artificial Intelligence

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